Because I allowed my MLA membership to go dead for awhile, I had entirely forgotten about the resolutions the MLA circulates every year. This is interesting to me, because I actually served as an MLA delegate for a few years, and spent a few painful afternoons debating such resolutions myself.
For whatever reason, the MLA doesn’t seem eager to publicize the resolutions or our debates over them, since they’ve stuck them behind some firewall of professional dignity on the MLA website, and nestled them someplace safe where Fox News or the New York Times can’t get to them.
I must admit, though, that years ago, when I was a delegate myself, whenever I returned from one of those long delegate meetings, I was always mocked by my friends for consenting to sit through a 4 1/2 hour debate over whether or not to censure this or that Big Name University for its disgusting, exploitive, union-busting, grad-student grinding, generally greedhead activities. And no, we never actually censured anyone while I was there. We just talked about it for a very long time, then decided we’d all be better off if we did nothing.
So I’m interested in the opinions of those on this blog, whether MLA members, ex-members, and not-ever-members, about how they regard such resolutions, if they think about them at all, and how much impact they’ve had on their local workplace. And if this kind of discussion makes teeny tiny tears of boredom roll down your cheeks, then we’ll move on to a more 18th century sort of topic straightaway.
UPDATE: I feel a lot happier passing this along, from Cary Nelson of the AAUP. It’s a report about the collapse of faculty governance and tenure in the New Orleans-area universities affected by Katrina. Take a look, and if stuff like this bothers you, think about joining the AAUP.